Are fireworks illegal in Massachusetts?
Yes, they are. If you have fireworks in Massachusetts be advised that under M.G.L. c. 148, § 39 a person who possesses or sets them off in the state can be punished. Any item with a combustive or explosive composition can qualify as a firework.
This post will answer some frequently asked questions about possession of fireworks.
What is a firework?
Under Commonwealth law, a firework is ANY:
- Combustible or explosive composition or substance
- Combination of a combustible composition or substance
- Other article which was prepared for the purpose of producing a visible or audible effect by:
- Deflagration (i.e. to burn rapidly and give off intense heat and sparks)
Moreover, a firework could legally include, but not limited to, ANY of the following:
- Blank cartridges in which explosives are used
- Toy cannons in which explosives are used
- The type of toy balloon which requires fire underneath to propel it
- Cherry bombs
- Silver salutes
- Roman candles
- Colored fires
- Other fireworks of like construction
- Any fireworks containing any explosive or flammable compound
- Any tablets or other device containing any explosive substance
What is the law on possession of fireworks?
Massachusetts law states:
“Whoever shall have in his [or her] possession or under his [or her] control, or whoever shall use or explode or cause to explode any fireworks in violation of this section shall be punished…”
In other words, a person who:
- Has in his or her possession
- Has under his or her control
- Causes to explode
…ANY firework or fireworks is breaking the law and will be punished.
What does the government need to show to prove someone guilty of illegally possessing fireworks?
In order to prove a defendant guilty of the offense of possession of fireworks, the Commonwealth must prove ALL of the following elements of the offense beyond a reasonable doubt:
- That the defendant:
- Had under his or her control
- Caused to explode
2. That the item meets the legal definition of fireworks.
3. That the defendant knew that he or she possessed, had under his or her control, used, exploded, or caused to explode the fireworks.
IF YOU OR A LOVED ONE HAVE BEEN CHARGED WITH POSSESSION OF FIREWORKS AND YOU NEED AN EXPERIENCED CRIMINAL DEFENSE LAWYER WORKING ON YOUR SIDE TO PROTECT YOUR RIGHTS, PLEASE CONTACT CRIMINAL DEFENSE ATTORNEY WILLIAM J. BARABINO.
CALL 781-393-5900 TO LEARN MORE ABOUT YOUR AVAILABLE DEFENSES.